King’s Academy, November 10, 2014 – Campus was abuzz with hundreds of proud parents who traveled far and wide to attend this year’s Fall Parents Weekend, a two-day event during which they shadowed students in class, met with teachers and advisors, and enjoyed a performing arts showcase as well as a variety of athletic games.
On Thursday morning, Headmaster John Austin welcomed the community in the Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium and drew inspiration from an essay on the purpose of education in the 21st century to describe what King’s Academy is trying to accomplish.
“We hope to do much more than simply prepare students to take tests,” Austin said. “We want students who – in the words of our mission – are creative, independent, responsible thinkers.”
Austin explained that in order to achieve a great education, it is important to aspire towards four main principles “that shape our faculty’s approach to teaching and learning” – habits of mind (e.g. attentiveness, time-management and critical thinking), a growth mindset, engagement and authentic learning.
Parents were then treated to a medley of performances put on by the King’s Academy evening orchestra, the glee club, and the guitar ensemble under the direction of music teachers Reem Abu Rahmeh, Wen Yu Ho, Ben Watsky and Mohammad Agha respectively.
“We learn how to communicate through art form and how to express ourselves as individuals through groups,” Abu Rahmeh said about her musicians.
The audience also got a glimpse into the acting talents of the comical improvisational group, led by Faculty Member Allison Poirot, and an equally entertaining theater ensemble, who put on a skit from an upcoming theatrical performance directed by Faculty Member James Morgan.
A contemporary dance number and traditional Jordanian dabkeh brought the showcase to an end with resounding cheers and applause from the community.
AP studio arts students got to show off their creations with an all-day outdoor exhibition of 2D design, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics and sculpture, which was displayed in the Upper Promenade area outside the Gallery.
Students were joined by their parents in a schedule of shortened classes and broke for lunch in the Dining Hall before the day wrapped with swimming, volleyball and soccer matches in the Athletic Center and Stadium. The following day was dedicated to parent-teacher and advisor conferences.
Parents, especially those who attended classes with their children, left Parents Weekend full of words of praise for King’s Academy, according to Abu Rahmeh.
“It’s humbling to hear parents expressing their desire to want to be high school students again – a testament to the quality and kind of education King’s is giving their kids,” she said.